In the Chianti wine literature, wines from the sub-region Rufina (one of the six Chianti sub-regions) are often mentioned as suitable for aging and graceful evolution. This is true in the case of the Colognole Chianti Rufina – a beautiful expression of the qualities of the Ruffina terroir. It is an aromatic wine that shows lots of depth with its floral accents and earthy and black tea notes. Because of its altitude, the mountainside vineyard experiences large temperature variations from day to night, helping to maintain acidity and develop aromatic components. Although the appellation allows for wines to be released the year following harvest, the Colognole estate ages its wines a minimum of 18 months in bottle. This wine is made from 95% Sangiovese and 5 % Colorino.
A deep ruby red, Colognole’s Chianti Rufina has a very aromatic nose of cherry, leather, black tea and violet. The palate is balanced, full and rich. Red fruit flavours, flowers and tea succeed each other, supported by a nice minerality and delicate tannins.
Rib steak, red meat carpaccio, veal liver, roasted duck or tomato-based dishes
Alberese: limestone marl with a high concentration of calcium bicarbonate
Vineyard managed according to the principles of lutte raisonnée. Average age of vines 15 years. Southwest exposure, 350 metres’ altitude
Manual harvest with selective sorting. Maceration for 10 days followed by fermentation with indigenous yeasts. Pump-overs and punchdowns four times a day. Spontaneous malolactic fermentation. Aging in Slovenian oak barrels for 14 months
One of the flagship estates of Chianti Rufina, Colognole is a consistent and respected producer. The beautiful property in the hills above Rufina includes a restaurant and a charming bed & breakfast located in the main Tuscan villa. I had a chance to informally taste through some older vintages with proprietor Cesare Coda Nunziante and was impressed by the longevity of his wines.
Wine Advocate, Monica Lamer
Chianti is undoubtedly the best-known Tuscan, if not Italian, appellation. It stands out for the splendour of its landscapes, medieval villages and abundant vineyards and excellent wines. Originally a small sub-region centred around the municipalities of Radda, Gaiole and Castellina, the Chianti appellation continues to expand and now covers almost half of Tuscany: 160 km from north to south, larger than Bordeaux. The heart of the region, the Chianti Classico appellation, has also expanded from its original 1716 boundaries but remains, with Chianti Ruffina, the reference in terms of quality since the best conditions for growing top-quality Sangiovese are found here.
Most producers in the region make two forms of Chianti: a simpler version that can be enjoyed in its youth, and the more serious Riserva – for the cellar. Soils vary considerably; from calcareous marl of a fragile stone known as galestro, to warmer and sandier soils. Sangiovese is a late-ripening grape and in cooler vintages, higher altitude growers sometimes struggle to obtain mature sugars and tannins. The best producers succeed, shaping complex, firm, and aromatic wines rather than voluptuous ones.
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